How are individuals shaped by society? What can we do to solve social inequality? And, seriously, WTF is up with cults?
These are just a few of the complex questions that sociologists try to answer through research, data analysis, critical thinking, and in-depth knowledge of sociological theories. But as a sociology major, you may have another “big” question on your mind — namely, what can you do with a sociology degree?
The truth is that a degree in sociology can lead to careers in a wide range of industries, from academia and law to business and urban planning. So, if you’re still in the process of choosing a career, don’t worry — you have plenty of options! Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best jobs for sociology majors.
- Social Worker – Social workers help people overcome and/or find ways to cope with problems in their everyday lives. You can find social workers in a range of environments, including healthcare facilities, government offices, and schools. Social workers often help people who are in a vulnerable state. For instance, they may work with children who have experienced abuse or trauma, or they may provide hospice care to improve the quality of life for an ailing patient. Social work is challenging for this reason, but it is also deeply rewarding for the right individual.
- Consumer Researcher – Consumer researchers are tasked with identifying the preferences, motivations, and buying behavior of a company’s target customer. As a sociology major, you can probably see how your skills might be useful in this position — you do study human behavior, after all! If you can put together a winning resume for your first job that emphasizes your research and analytical skills, companies are sure to come crawling.
- Counselor – Counselors provide support and counseling services to clients who may be struggling with problems that are causing them emotional turmoil. Counselors can be broken down into two categories: school counseling and clinical counseling. As a school counselor, you might help students choose a career that best suits them (hey, kinda like what you’re doing right now 😉). Clinical counselors, on the other hand, can be found outside of schools and typically provide mental health services that help their patients navigate mental health difficulties.
- Human Resources Manager – Human resources (HR) manager is an occupation that regularly makes the list of best jobs for sociology majors, and for good reason! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for HR managers is expected to grow six percent from 2019 to 2029. It’s also one of the highest-paying careers you can get with a degree in sociology, with an average annual salary of about $116K. As an HR manager, you’d be in charge of all the administrative functions within an organization. For instance, you may be tasked with the following duties: ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal laws; managing the company’s benefit programs; and managing the organization’s human resource information system, among other duties.
- Policy Analyst – If you’re wondering how to put your analytical, critical thinking, research, communication, and problem-solving skills to good use, consider a career as a policy analyst. As a policy analyst, you’ll rely on many of these skills to analyze policies and provide impartial guidance to organizations and governing bodies. Entry-level policy analyst jobs can be difficult to come by, so you’ll want to find internships to gain valuable experience and grow your connections in the field.
- Correctional Treatment Specialist – Sure, working with convicted offenders isn’t for everyone — but for the right person, this could be a rewarding career. As a correctional treatment specialist, you’ll assist with the rehabilitation of convicted offenders who are currently in custody, on probation, or on parole. It’s essentially social work that takes place in a prison and comes with better pay/job security than regular social work.
- Urban and Regional Planner – If you’re interested in getting a graduate degree, urban and regional planning could be a great career option. Urban and regional planners are the ones who create plans and programs for the use of land in their jurisdictions. They make communities thrive by revitalizing, repurposing, or replacing aging infrastructure. Best of all, this is a fast-growing career with a great potential salary — according to BLS data, urban planners had a median annual wage of $74,350 in 2019.
Sociology: A Launch Pad to a Rewarding Career
As you can see, there is a wide variety of jobs for sociology majors. However, these opportunities won’t just fall into your lap after you graduate. To strengthen your degree, gain work experience through internships, part-time work, and other career-related experiences.
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